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U.S. Senators: Britain Pressured Scotland To Release Lockerbie Bomber

The fact that Abdelbaset al-Megrahi is still alive 16 months after his release has fueled speculation.
A report commissioned by four U.S. senators accuses the British government of pressuring Scotland to free the Lockerbie bomber in order to safeguard British oil and weapons deals with Libya.

The report says London was particularly concerned about a $900 million BP oil deal Libya had threatened to cut off and a $165 million arms deal signed the same month the convicted bomber, a Libyan national, was freed.

Abdelbaset Ali Mohmet al-Megrahi is the only person convicted for the 1988 attack that killed 270 people when Pan Am Flight 103 exploded over the Scottish town of Lockerbie.

Scottish authorities released Megrahi on compassionate grounds in August 2009 after doctors said he was suffering from terminal cancer and had three months to live.

The fact Megrahi is still alive more than 16 months later has fueled accusations the decision was linked to British trade deals with Libya.

A Scottish government spokesman today rejected the allegations, calling the report "an incorrect and inaccurate rehash by four senators" of material that has been in the public domain for months.

compiled from agency reports